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Moving to a Future of Beauty Online

Posted: August 5, 2014

In “Beauty Online? Yahoo!,” a blog post from Mintel senior beauty and personal care analyst Shannon Romanowski, the market research analyst looks how the community of beauty is shifting online. This is affecting the development of markets and retail channels, obviously, as well as where beauty consumers are going for answers.

Focusing on one such outlet, Romanowski writes, “Beauty consumers rely on technology for information and guidance, and Yahoo! is hoping to capture the attention of this lucrative beauty shopper with the introduction of its Yahoo! Beauty platform. The platform aims to differentiate itself in the highly competitive beauty space by offering a more holistic beauty destination which features everything from makeup application tutorials to fitness tips.”

Looking at the beauty market right now, Romanowski notes, “According to Mintel’s Shopping for Beauty Products—US, 2013 report, total U.S. retail sales of beauty products were estimated to reach $37 billion in 2013, up nearly 3% from 2012. While the beauty category is highly competitive and saturated, retailers and brands continue to try and capture the attention of beauty consumers. As further detailed in this report, 11% of beauty product purchasers cite reading an online product review as a reason for purchasing. Need more proof? Look no further than Mintel’s The Personal Care Consumer—US, 2012 report, which says 38% of adults claim recommendations from professionals influence their beauty and personal care product choices, and nearly a quarter (24%) claim they are influenced by websites/blogs.”

So how are these interactions working? “Technology continues to play a bigger role in how consumers interact with the beauty category. The proliferation of products and claims, combined with the high price tags associated with many products, is leading shoppers to turn to tools such as beauty blogs, apps, tutorials and review sites to help guide their purchase decisions,” Romanowski writes. “While the digital beauty space is already crowded, Yahoo! is hoping to bring consumers a more holistic approach to beauty with its new platform, which launched in June 2014. Yahoo! Beauty will be curated by makeup artist Bobbi Brown, and while Brown will certainly offer plenty of makeup tips and tutorials, the site will also have a strong focus on general health and wellness.”

Romanowski also points to the importance of Yahoo! Beauty’s partnerships. “In addition to content generated by Brown, the site will also feature sponsored content from beauty partners including Vogue.com and Allure.com, as well as content from freelancers, reporters, and influential women in the beauty space.” She concludes that Brown’s advice on looking better to feel better, with a goal to be your best self, sounds like a good way forward.